Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1377 ..
MR BARR: As I understand it, there is a difference in the EER process as that relates to a point of sale rather than a point of construction in some instances, although it can vary, of course, depending on the nature of the property. I will need to get some further advice as to the nature of the inspections that are undertaken. As I understand it, it is mostly software based and there are various software tools. Since this EER system was introduced in the territory more than a decade ago there has been an evolution in the sorts of analyses and tools that are used to assess the EER of buildings. As Ms Le Couteur would be aware, I think we are onto the second or third generation of software in relation to those sorts of analyses.
I will seek some further information in relation to whether there are physical inspections. Off the top of my head I do not believe there are. I understand physical audits are undertaken on a random basis, so not every EER assessment is audited. There is a random process then for checking. Of course, as we see the evolution of time and properties go on the market more than once, there is a requirement for EERs to be updated. From one point of sale to the next it is possible that the home owner could well have made changes to the property, one would hope to largely enhance the EER rating of the property rather than to detract from the EER rating of the property.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?
MS HUNTER: What is the government target for both energy efficiency rating and other auditing, and have these targets been met?
MR BARR: These targets are published each year in the Planning and Land Authority’s statements in relation to the budget papers and their annual reports. My understanding is that the targets have been met over the past few years. Of course, there will be further reporting on this in the months ahead.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Bresnan?
MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Given that building certifiers are often recommended by the builder, how is this potential conflict of interest minimised?
MR BARR: I thank the Greens for this line of questioning. There is potential, as I understand it, in the public mind for there to be some concern in relation to this recommendation process whereby a builder would recommend a certifier. I think it is important to note that there is that concern in the public and it has been expressed by a number of correspondents in the Canberra Times.
I do not believe that the current arrangements in the territory can address all of those concerns that residents have. So I think it is an area that we will have to examine more closely in the future. I think it is important that there is an independent auditing process. Certainly, I am confident that the Planning and Land Authority undertakes that role.
There is, I accept, at the heart of this matter a question around whether building certifiers should be on the government payroll or paid for by the private sector. There